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Everything Carries 

Me to You: 

Selected Poems 

of Pablo Neruda 

Edited by Raymond Soulard, Jr. 

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Portland, O r e g o k 

Scriptor Press 

Everything Carries 

Me to You: 

Selected Poems 

of Pablo Neruda 

Edited by Raymond Soulard, Jr. 

Number Twenty-two 

This volume is for Mark Shorette 

Burning Man Books is a special projects division imprint of 

Scriptor Press 

2442 NW Market Street, #68 

Seattle, WA 98 107 

cenacle @ mindspring. com 

This volume was composed 

in the Eras and Times fonts 

in PageMaker 6.5 on the 

Macintosh G4 computer 

If You Forget Me 

I want you to know 
one thing. 

You know how this is: 

if I look 

at the crystal moon, at the red branch 

of the slow autumn at my window, 

if I touch 

near the fire 

the impalpable ash 

or the wrinkled body of the log, 

everything carries me to you, 

as if everything that exists: 

aromas, light, metals, 

were little boats that sail 

toward those isles of yours that wait for me. 

Well, now, 

if little by little you stop loving me 

I shall stop loving you little by little. 

If suddenly 

you forget me 

do not look for me, 

for I shall already have forgotten you. 

If you think it long and mad, 

the wind of banners 

that passes through my life, 

and you decide 

to leave me at the shore 

of the heart where I have roots, 


that on that day, 

at that hour, 

I shall lift my arms 

and my roots will set off 

to seek another land. 

Everything Carries Me to You: Selected Poems • 5 


if each day, 

each hour, 

you feel that you are destined for me 

with implacable sweetness, 

if each day a flower 

climbs up to your lips to seek me, 

ah my love, ah my own, 

in me all that fire is repeated, 

in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, 

my love feeds on your love, beloved, 

and as long as you live it will be in your arms 

without leaving mine. 

The Weary One 

The weary one, orphan 

of the masses, the self, 

the crushed one, the one made of concrete, 

the one without a country in crowded restaurants, 

he who wanted to go far away, always farther away, 

didn't know what to do there, whether he wanted 

or didn't want to leave or remain on the island, 

the hesitant one, the hybrid, entangled in himself, 

had no place here: the straight-angled stone, 

the infinite look of the granite prism, 

the circular solitude all banished him: 

he went somewhere else with his sorrows, 

he returned to the agony of his native land, 

to his indecisions, of winter and summer. 

Lost in the forest... 

Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig 
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips: 
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying, 
a cracked bell, or a torn heart. 

Something from far off it seemed 

deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth, 

a shout muffled by huge autumns, 

by the moist half -open darkness of the leaves. 

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-spri^ 
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance 
climbed up through my conscious mind 

as if suddenly the roots I had left behind 

cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood— 

and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent. 

In the center of the earth... 

6 • Pablo Neruda 

Everything Carries Me to You: Selected Poems • 7 

In the center of the earth I will push aside 

the emeralds so that I can see you 

you like an amanuensis, with a pen 

of water, copying the green sprigs of plants. 

What a world! What deep parsley ! 
What a ship sailing through the sweetness! 
And you, maybe— and me, maybe— a topaz. 
There'll be no more dissensions in the bells. 

There won't be anything but all the fresh air, 

apples carried on the wind, 

the succulent book in the woods: 

and there where the carnations breathe, we will begin 
to make ourselves a clothing, something to last 
through the eternity of a victorious kiss. 

The She Bird 

With my little terrestrial bird, 

my rustic earthen jug, 

I break out singing 

the guitar's rain: 

alleged autumn arrives 

like a load of firewood, 

decanting the aroma 

that flew through the mountains, 

and grape by grape my kisses 

were joined to her bunch. 

This proves that the afternoon 

accumulated sweetness 

like the amber process 

or the order of violets. 

Come flying, passenger, 

let's fly with the coals, 

live or cold, 

with the disorderly darkness 

of the obscure and the ardent. 

Let's enter the ash, 

let's move with the smoke, 

let's live by the fire. 

In mid autumn 

we'll set the table 

over the grassy hillside, 

flying over Chilian 

with your guitar in your wings. 

Pablo Neruda 

Everything Carries Me to You: Selected Poems • 9 

We are the clumsy passersby 


We are the clumsy passersby, we push past each other with elbows, 

with feet, with trousers, with suitcases, 

we get off the train, the jet plane, the ship, we step down 

in our wrinkled suits and sinister hats. 

We are all guilty, we are all sinners, 

we come from dead-end hotels or industrial peace, 

this might be our last clean shirt, 

we have misplaced our tie, 

yet even so, on the edge of panic, pompous, 

sons of bitches who move in the highest circles 

or quiet types who don't owe anything to anybody, 

we are one and the same, the same in time's eyes, 

or in solitude's: we are the poor devils 

who earn a living and a death working 

bureautragically or in the usual ways, 

sitting down or packed together in subway stations, 

boats, mines, research centers, jails, 

universities, breweries, 

(under our clothes the same thirsty skin), 

(the hair, the same hair, only in different colors). 

I have scarcely left you 

when you go in me, crystalline, 

or trembling, 

or uneasy, wounded by me 

or overwhelmed with love, as when your eyes 

close upon the gift of life 

that without cease I give you. 

My love, 

we have found each other 

thirsty and we have 

drunk up all the water and the blood, 

we found each other 


and we bit each other 

as fire bites, 

leaving wounds in us. 

But wait for me, 

keep for me your sweetness. 

I will give you too 

a rose. 

10 • Pablo Neruda 

Everything Carries Me to You: Selected Poems • 11 

Your Laughter 

Take breath away from me, if you wish, 

take air away, but 

do not take from me your laughter. 

Do not take away the rose, 
the lanceflower that you pluck, 
the water that suddenly 
bursts forth in your joy, 
the sudden wave 
of silver born in you. 

My struggle is harsh and I come back 

with eyes tired 

at times from having seen 

the unchanging earth, 

but when your laughter enters 

it rises to the sky seeking me 

and it opens for me all 

the doors of life. 

Laugh at the night, 
at the day, at the moon, 
laugh at the twisted 
streets of the island, 
laugh at this clumsy 
boy who loves you, 
but when I open 
my eyes and close them, 
when my steps go, 
when my steps return, 
deny me bread, air, 
light, spring, 
but never your laughter 
for I would die. 

My love, in the darkest 
hour your laughter 
opens, and if suddenly 
you see my blood staining 
the stones of the street, 
laugh, because your laughter 
will be for my hands 
like a fresh sword. 

Next to the sea in the autumn, 
your laughter must raise 
its foamy cascade, 
and in the spring, love, 
I want your laughter like 
the flower I was waiting for, 
the blue flower, the rose 
of my echoing country. 

12 • Pablo Neruda 

Everything Carries Me to You: Selected Poems • 13 


White Bee 

Facing you 

I am not jealous. 

Come with a man 

at your back, 

come with a hundred men in your hair, 

come with a thousand men between your bosom and your feet, 

come like a river 

filled drowned men 

that meets the furious sea, 

the eternal foam, the weather. 

Bring them all 
where I wait for you: 
we shall always be alone, 
we shall always be, you and I, 
alone upon the earth 
to begin life. 

White bee, you buzz in my soul, drunk with honey, 
and your flight winds in slow spirals of smoke. 

I am the one without hope, the word without echoes, 
he who lost everything and he who had everything. 

Last hawser, in you creaks my last longing. 
In my barren land you are the final rose. 

Ah you who are silent! 

Let your deep eyes close. There the night flutters. 
Ah your body, a frightened statue, naked. 

You have deep eyes in which the night flails. 
Cool arms of flowers and a lap of rose. 

Your breasts seem like white snails. 

A butterfly of shadow has come to sleep on your belly. 

Ah you who are silent! 

Here is the solitude from which you are absent. 
It is raining. The sea wind is hunting stray gulls. 

The water walks barefoot in the wet streets. 

From that tree the leaves complain as though they were sick. 

White bee, even when you are gone you buzz in my soul 
You live again in time, slender and silent. 

Ah you who are silent! 

14 • Pablo Neruda 

Everything Carries Me to You: Selected Poems • 15 

Ode To the Sea 


Surrounding the island 

There's sea. 

But what sea? 

It's always overflowing. 

Says yes, 

Then no, 

Then no again, 

And no, 

Says yes 

In blue 

In sea spray 


Says no 

And no again. 

It can't be still. 

It stammers 

My name is sea. 

We are meager fishermen, 

Men from the shore 

Who are hungry and cold 

And you're our foe. 

Don't beat so hard, 

Don't shout so loud, 

Open your green coffers, 

Place gifts of silver in our hands. 

Give us this day 

our daily fish. 

It slaps the rocks 

And when they aren't convinced, 

Strokes them 

And soaks them 

And smothers them with kisses. 

With seven green tongues 

Of seven green dogs 

Or seven green tigers 

Or seven green seas, 

Beating its chest, 

Stammering its name, 

Oh Sea, 

This is your name. 
Oh comrade ocean, 
Don't waste time 
Or water 
Getting so upset 
Help us instead. 

16 • Pablo Neruda 

Everything Carries Me to You: Selected Poems • 17 

I Like For You to be Still 

I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent, 

and you hear me from far away and my voice does not touch you. 

It seems as though your eyes had flown away 

and it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth. 

As all things are filled with my soul 
you emerge from the things, filled with my soul. 
You are like my soul, a butterfly of dream, 
and you are like the word Melancholy. 

I like for you to be still, and you seem far away. 
It sounds as though you were lamenting, a butterfly cooing like a dove. 
And you hear me from far away, and my voice does not reach you: 
Let me come to be still in your silence. 

And let me talk to you with your silence 

that is bright as a lamp, simple as a ring. 

You are like the night, with its stillness and constellations. 

Your silence is that of a star, as remote and candid. 

I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent, 
distant and full of sorrow as though you had died. 
One word then, one smile, is enough. 
And I am happy, happy that it's not true. 

18 • Pablo Neruda